I incorporated my Celtic Mandala prayer fully into my contemplative walk today and received many insights. By allowing myself more space to engage with each element’s energy through walking facing its corresponding direction, I was able to more deeply meditate upon their essences and teachings, and glimpse more of their aspects for contemplation and prayer.
I began by centering first. I was moved to honor the realms of land, sea, and sky, and all their beings, and ask that blessings and our love to be upon them. I honored the center as the heart of vitality and inspiration, and asked that its spirit bless us all this day. I carried this with me as I set off on my walk which first takes me west.
As I turned on my walk to the north, I honored the power of wind and breath. It occurred to me that these both carry the powers of song and voice. I prayed that we might be open to hearing the songs of the land, that I might be ever open to them myself, and learn how to sing back, and sing together with them. I asked that a blessing be upon my breath.
As I turned around the bend to the east, I honored the power of stone, mountain and bone. I honored their gifts of stability and resiliency, and asked that they teach us how to live with stability and resilience in the land from which we grow, in which we are planted, in which we dwell, and how to live in harmony with each other as do the mountains, the rings of stones, and the constellation of our skeletons’ bones.
Turning along the south-facing leg of the circuit, I honored the powers of sun and countenance. I prayed that our hearts might be receptive to and perceive the light and beauty of the land, and that our countenances might reflect that light and beauty into the world, and share them with one another, heart to heart.
Before the next turn, I paused in the copse of oak trees, one of my favorite spots on my walking circuit, grounding into their roots, and taking in the birdsong which filled the air around them. Here I looked down, and honored the power of earth and land, which is also the power of my flesh, and asked for a blessing upon it. I thanked the land for its support and sustenance, and prayed that we all learn to support and sustain life, and each other. It seems like such a simple thing to do, such an easy litmus test by which to judge our actions- does this act support and sustain life, or does it disrupt and degrade life, and its ability to manage itself through its vital systems? Sadly, not only is this question not routinely asked in our society, is it not valued as a worthy question.
Returning to my walk, facing west, I honored the power of the sea, which is also the power of my blood. I thanked the sea for its nourishment, and prayed that we might learn to nourish life as well. Focusing more deeply on the sea, I felt soul-calmed, as though I were beside the sea, and it occurred to me that I carry the power of the sea within me as my blood, as it is also nourishing, flowing in its tides, and salty, and that through my blood I could access that soul-calming sea effect anytime.
After returning home, I paused to look up and honor the powers of cloud and thought. I thanked the clouds for the role in shaping our weather and greening our land, and prayed that our thoughts might also bring verdant life to the land around us through the actions to which our thoughts lead us. This puts me in mind of a great idea developed in the last century called Permaculture, which is exactly a human-powered thought and activity which brings greening and verdant life to the land. The ideas and ideals of Permaculture inspire me greatly, and I am thankful it is here for modern society to look upon as a valuable example and guide for living in right relationship with the land and beings around us, and each other.
I finished my prayerful walk with the Deep Peace of the Tree moving meditation, and found the flow of energy to be easy and strong, my feet and palms tingling, my three cauldrons warming, and my nemeton shining. I was moved to do each of the three rounds facing a different direction, so that I felt I was drawing the energy down and around me along three axes (plural of axis), creating a three-dimensional bubble of earth energy about me, and sweeping it under me beneath the ground as I drew my hands down each time. After the third round, I stood breathing gently in the energy about and within me. Even now as I sit and write, I still feel the tingling of energy all over.
Overall an insightful and moving experience!